Richard Thomas “Tom” Dalton
October 24, 1939 – October 13, 2022
Richard Thomas “Tom” Dalton, 82, passed away peacefully in the early hours of Thursday, October 13 2022 at the age of 82.
Tom lived a long and full life and was loved by many. He had a special knack for drawing folks towards him with his easy smile, his caring open nature, and his love of sharing good moments with others. Tom was a talented man who could play the piano for hours without sheet music, which he did for many years at O’Toole’s Restaurant & Pub on Forest Hill to the great delight of everyone present. He had a beautiful singing voice as well. In his younger years, Tom would travel to other parts of the country to play and sing, including for a time in Los Angeles where he met several celebrities. He also had a passion for Richmond theatre and was well known in those circles, frequently styling fabulous hairdos for the actors. In 1956, Tom once ushered at The Mosque Theatre (now the Altra) for an Elvis Presley concert and had the good fortune to meet Elvis at that time. Another passion of his was breeding and raising Great Danes as show dogs, which he also did for many years. All who knew him knows he had a special place in his heart for his dog Zeke, who he found abandoned in The Fan, and for Eva who always brightened his every day.
During the greater part of his life, Tom was a licensed cosmetologist and the owner of Dalton’s Hair Chateau; where, until just over three years ago, he styled haircuts for customers of all ages. He had special artistry with his cuts that, along with his welcoming nature, kept his clients and friends coming back for many years and decades. His shop in The Fan was a welcoming spot with its interesting décor, fireplace, huge mirror with two carved women, and giant houseplants. Tom loved decorating for the holidays, and his shop would be festooned with Christmas decorations including a life-sized Santa. In keeping with his character, many of his clients regularly brought him homemade goodies and spoiled his dogs with treats. There was never a shortage of good-natured banter and conversation.
Tom was born in Powhatan County where he grew up with his mother, father, and two sisters. It was there where he learned to cook good country food, with a special love of butter beans and cornbread baked in an iron skillet. He had an unparalleled love of sweets with an abundance of cookies and ice cream always at the ready. Tom lived in The Fan district most of his life, dearly loving every aspect of that neighborhood and its people. His favorite haunt was the Bamboo Café on Mulberry Street; just a block from his last shop. He’d join in for drinks with friends and take home the Bamboo’s freshly made soup for dinner on a regular basis.
During his illness Tom had many caring souls who helped him in every way possible, bringing him food, cleaning, and taking him to appointments. These generous friends and family members reflect back on what Tom gave to the world. Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Georgie Dalton; his sisters, Shirley Ziegler and Dorothy Morrison. He is survived by his only son, Stephen Dalton, who he was exceptionally proud of and loved deeply beyond measure. He is also survived by his nieces, Jane Preston and Susan Hare; and his nephew, Jim Morrison.
Tom’s friends and family will miss him greatly and will remember him for the warmth he showed others; and, of course, he’ll be fondly remembered for his Irish flat caps which he was never without.
As per his request, there will be no funeral. A private gathering will be held with family and close friends at a later date
So very sad to loose Dear Sweet Tom but knowing he’s in a much better place & out of pain makes it easier. He was such a dear person full of love & personality & and was so much fun to be with. Thank you Tom for all the funny stories & great hair cuts. Everyone will miss “special you”. God Bless Him 🙏💙🙏
Many thoughts & prayers to Stephen, Jane & all the family & friends. He will be missed by many!
I had the pleasure getting to know Tom. Tom was the BEST when it comes to Styling and giving me the best cut. Tom rest in R.I.P. May God comfort your Family Friends and the Community. You surely will be missed.
Tom was always welcoming and very talented! What a lovely spirit who made a haircut a sweet and warm experience.
He will be greatly missed by many!
Tom watched me grow up, he cut my hair from the day I was born until I graduated college. He always loved telling me his favorite story from when I was a toddler. He was tossing the candies to my brother and I, except he was purposely tossing them out of my reach so that only my brother was catching the candy! He was egging me on, saying “maybe you’ll catch this one, oops, hold on, maybe the next one.” Then he’d throw another candy high and out of my reach. Eventually he asked “Augie, how come you haven’t caught any?” to which I retorted “well if you wouldn’t throw them so damn high!” He always loved that story, and he loved his customers, whom he considered a part of his family. It was a privilege to know Tom.
It is still amazing to me that the guy who cuts your hair was such a friend to everyone. Learning through the years just how many of your friends had Tom as a stylist was staggering. It was a pleasure knowing him and “solving the world’s problems” during each haircut. I really miss the man. Thank you, Tom.
Tommy Dalton was an institution in Richmond, whether at his Shop or seated somewhere in Bamboo Cafe. He will be missed.
We lived on Sheppard Street for many years and Dalton’s was always our choice. He was a delightful person. Holding him and his family in my heart.
Tom was & always will be amazing. I Loved All Our Times Together. Hanging out with him & his dogs. Dinners out, private conversations on everything & everyone. Catching up regularly at Bamboo Cafe & our other favorite haunts. Hanging out @ The Fresh Market having lunch & coffee. Always Loved His Laugh & The Sparkle In His Eyes. I will miss him & his presence in my life always. He Was An Honor To Know & Love.
I never imagined that getting my hair “done” could be so entertaining! I always left Tom’s shop looking and feeling better than when I entered! The dogs… the stories… the laughs…THE Tommy Dalton. They are greatly missed.
I’m so sad to hear that Tom died. I loved him. He was so much fun to be around. Always a smile and sparkle in his eyes..He would do anything for you— once he opened the shop on a Sunday just to fix a botched coloring I did. Another time he passed out during a cut. After about 5 minutes, he insisted on continuing although I said I’d come another day. He cut a while and then his legs gave out again.. again I tried to leave and he continued until he finished.. He loved my cornbread cooked in an iron skillet—said it was just like his mom’s. Cornbread and pinto beans made him very happy. Today I tried again to call him, after many tries with no answer, and today the message was disconnected! What a lump in my throat. Many people will miss our loving, kind, artistic Tom.. He’s in a better place and we were all very honored to know him. Love you, Tom..
Tom was the best hairstylist I ever had. A friend recommended him to me, and it was the first time I let someone cut my hair short. He did a wonderful job and always has. At each appointment, he would ask me how I wanted my hair cut, and I would say whatever you want to do, because I always trusted him to give me a great haircut. I was never disappointed. And it was always a pleasure to visit with Tom. He had a very warm inviting personality and always made me laugh. I will miss Tom immensely. Many prayers for Tom’s family and friends.
Thank you, Tom, for your caring, your laughter and your artistry. Going to your shop was always an adventure, you never knew who else would be there that day or how many dogs would greet you. You will be missed. Yes, I have been hacking on my bangs.
I just heard about this. I’m so sorry. I knew Tommy for practically 40 years. Great Danes, Eva and Zeke and all the people who worked for him whose faces I can picture but names I can’t recall. Tom was unique in a good way. May the angels smile upon him.